No one would argue with the idea that the world has been dramatically changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. But what are the most important shifts and innovations in financial services and insurance, and how are they likely to be manifested in the future? One important development is the acceleration of the adoption of a consumer-oriented approach into a highly regulated industry.
This “consumerization of the workplace” has altered the nature of work, and the delivery of services has been transformed in five important ways that will have a profound impact on the future of financial services.
The most immediate and obvious change in everyone’s life from Spring 2020 was the 100% shift to online collaboration. With in-person interaction off the table, tools like Zoom, Google Workspace and Microsoft Teams had to shoulder the burden of keeping the wheels of business turning. While most would have forecast a drop in productivity as the whole world transitioned to remote work, the opposite often occurred. Now, as we face a future of hybrid home and office working arrangements, these tools will continue to evolve in ways that support a flexible future.
2. Cloud Migration
It might not have been as dramatic as the immediate shift to using Zoom or Google Meet, but the move out of the office also reinforced the shift away from the corporate data center. The pandemic served to expose the often fragile and inflexible nature of on-premise operations and vended compute infrastructure. The on-demand, flexible apps needed to meet the demands of a remote work environment were inevitably cloud-based and developed on modern architectures. This realization will likely further accelerate the move away from mainframes and onto the cloud.
3. Platform Modernization
The need to iterate quickly in response to a fluid situation was brought into sharp focus by the pandemic. Many firms learned first hand that their existing infrastructure was fundamentally incapable of handling the unexpected challenges coming fast and furious. The change in conditions forced an examination of assumptions and, as a result, old platforms were found wanting while new and necessary solutions came from modern platforms. Going forward, platform modernization will be a first-order priority in any major IT effort.
4. Risk Analytics
The pandemic was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence that exposed flaws and shortcomings in established risk assumptions and the systems that they drive. It was a massive experiment run in real-time, and it was the cloud-based tools and processes that provided the insights and answers that both kept the lights on and illuminated the path forward. Importantly, all new levels of tools and insights are enabled by this shift, ultimately making the enterprise more resilient and generating enhanced outcomes through new tools, products, and initiatives.
5. Customer Experience
The trend of digital native customers demanding app-level engagement and performance had already been driving the move away from a brick-and-mortar model, but the pandemic kicked this trend into overdrive. The new customer experience-focused solutions increased engagement, led to greater insight, accelerated innovation and improved customer engagement. Further, advanced analytics tools that are enabled by AI and ML reinforced these gains and are quickly becoming table stakes for fueling the future enterprise. The pandemic put a new focus on customer interactions, and this trend will continue well into the future.
In the end, one of the biggest challenges in financial services is to implement the consumerization of technology into a highly regulated industry. The pandemic brought this issue to the forefront, but it also accelerated the creation of solutions to address it. As the world continues to evolve into what many call “the new normal,” these gains will be built upon and enhanced in ways that create untold new opportunities. Here at Maven Wave, an Atos Company, we are prepared to assist on that journey.
With a dedicated financial services practice and 11 Google Cloud Partner Specializations including Cloud Migration, Security, and Enterprise Collaboration, Maven Wave can provide your organization with a more flexible, productive, and collaborative environment to meet current and future demands in a Google Workspace environment. Contact us to get started.
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